National Weather Service Adds XML And RSS Feeds

National Weather Service logo.The US National Weather Service just updated the SOAP/XML interface to their National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) and RSS feeds from their Storm Prediction Center.

I feel a little happier about paying my taxes when I see government organizations like the Weather Service posting answers like this:

The National Weather Service is striving to serve society’s needs for weather information by evolving its services from a text-based paradigm to one based on making NWS information available quickly, efficiently, and in convenient and understandable forms. The NDFD is one example of this transformation. NDFD XML takes yet another step towards a digital services era by making NDFD data available for computer to computer transfer and processing. NWS customers and partners can then enhance the value of NDFD data through the creation of value added products.

Then I just go gaga when they offer sample PHP code and a NuSOAP-based WSDL.

The SOAP interface gives all the standard forecast info for any Latitude-Longitude pair in the the Weather Service serves. Now, combine this with my interest in geolocating everything and you should start to understand what I mean when I talk about networked information.

Sadly, John Little at BlogsOfWar points out that some commercial interests (and the senators they own) are pushing for “noncompetitive” legislation that would eliminate the NWS’s SOAP/XML services and possibly the website too. Little’s take is quite funny:

Apply some Santorum logic and you’ll soon come to the conclusion that police officers are ‘competing” with security companies and public roadways are “competing” with tollroads.

Well, it would be funny if highway and defense privatization weren’t already big issues.